Response To Socrates Argument Essay

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Socrates argument is: Everyone knows bad things, in so far as they are bad, are harmful. So, to want something you believe to be bad as such, involves wanting to be harmed. But no one wants to be harmed. Therefore, no one wants bad things, in-so-far as they are bad, as such. To effectively refute this argument, one could simply provide a counter example to one or more of Socrates’ premises. The third premise: “No one wants to be harmed” is the easiest to refute, and as a result, serves as an objection to Socrates’ argument, because there are all kinds of people who want to be harmed. For example, masochists, individuals who cut themselves, and people who commit suicide all want to, and successfully do hurt themselves. All of these people want…show more content…
To begin with, this premise is a very bold claim, in that it specifically states: "Everyone knows…" This premise does not say ‘most people’, nor does it even say ‘all rational people’ - the premise specifically says everyone - making this statement an absolute. As a result of Socrates putting forth this premise as an absolute, one should automatically be skeptical of the conclusion that is derived from this premise, because there are no absolutes. Yes, it may seem as if this itself is being claimed as an absolute, but that is representative of the flaw(s) pertaining to language, rather than an epistemological contradiction. Furthermore, one could easily imagine a scenario in which a young and impressionable child is told by his or her mother that ‘smoking is bad’. This child would then, presumably, operate under the assumption that ‘smoking is bad’ without an actual understanding that smoking is bad because it is harmful. This child just thinks smoking is bad simply because his or her mother told him it was bad, not because the child knows smoking is harmful. This scenario shows that an individual can think something is bad, without knowing it is also

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